The Magnificent Ambersons
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For the most part, this is a very close adaptation of Booth Tarkington's underrated novel about the relentless decline of a wealthy midwestern family through the rise of industrialization, though Welles makes the story even more powerful through his extraordinary mise en scene and some of the finest acting to be found in American movies.
A masterpiece in every way.
Los Angeles Times
An elegiac saga of the decline and fall of a rich small-town American family, based on a Booth Tarkington novel.
With immaculate period reconstruction, and virtuoso acting shot in long, elegant takes, it remains the director's most moving film, despite the artificiality of the sentimental tacked-on ending.
The A.V. Club
The Magnificent Ambersons is still masterly. It’s the movie that all other films about families in decline are measured against.
The New Yorker
The film wasn’t completed in the form that Welles originally intended, and there are pictorial effects that seem scaled for a much fuller work, but even in this truncated form it’s amazing and memorable.
The bold cinematic techniques Welles employed in Citizen Kane are put to even more sophisticated use here.
The New York Times
All in all, The Magnificent Ambersons is an exceptionally well-made film, dealing with a subject scarcely worth the attention which has been lavished upon it.
Ambersons is not another Citizen Kane, but it is good enough to remove Director Welles for keeps from the novice or one-picture-prodigy class.
This film hasn't a single moment of contrast; it piles on and on a tale of woe, but without once striking at least a true chord of sentimentality.
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